Both healers and psychotherapists recognize a connection between mental health and spirituality. Traditionally, however, the realms of collective religious philosophy, individual spiritual experience, and modern-day psychology have often lain splintered in separate places within the human psyche. This fragmentation in our awareness and experience has hindered the quality and progress of our lives.
The authors discovered that a key to healing the fragmentation and unifying the psyche lies in a direct study of the life and teachings of Jesus. Though Jesus lived nearly 2000 years before Sigmund Freud and the giants of twentieth-century psychology, he demonstrated that he understood the mind and emotions just as keenly as he understood the spirit of man. The authors gained these insights largely under the inspiration and teachings of Stylianos Atteshlis, a Cypriot mystic and healer who is best known simply as Daskalos, or teacher, in Greek.
Through his interpretation of Jesus' teachings, Daskalos showed that an understanding of personality can further this process of healing. The authors have found that this link is clarified and validated by the theories of Enneagram personality type and the structure of the energy body and its chakra centers. These topics, as well as meditation and self-healing exercises are offered in Awakening Love to help the reader unite the human and divine natures in a heart of love. A deep appreciation naturally follows for the essential spiritual unity of the human family and the fundamental expression of this oneness by all the world's great religions.
"This is a very wise account of the transformation of the shadow side of the personality into that essential essence of life, unconditional love." C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D., Founding President of the American Holistic Medical Association
Table of Contents
Poem: Who Am I?
Topic Areas of Interest in This Book
I. A Symbol of Healing
II. The Nature of Human Design
III. Manifestations of the Present-Day Personality
IV. Structure of the Present-Day Personality: Its Chakras and Elementals
V. Home of the Present-Day Personality: The Subconscious Mind
VI. The Universal Journey of Transformation: The Parable of the Prodigal Son
VII. Awakening Love Consciously: Nine Directions Home
VIII. Meditations for Awakening Love
IX. Private Interview with Daskalos on Love and Nonattachment
Appendix I: Summary of Enneagram Personality Types
Appendix II: Clinical Case Studies
Appendix III: Mind Within Matter: The Anatomy of the Energy Body
Mental health and spirituality have a recognized connection. This connection is being explored actively by psychotherapists and spiritual seekers alike. Some psychotherapists are integrating spirituality into their practices in creative and intimate ways. They often work in the context of Jungian and transpersonal psychology or even in the broad realm of "alternative spirituality" such as attitudinal healing. They look to those who have established effective links between the psychology of the inner life and the transcendent principles and practices of spirituality. One such link, the discipline of psychosynthesis, was established by psychologist Roberto Assagioli to join the technologies of Western psychology and Eastern spirituality.
Other therapists prefer to avoid direct work with the transcendent, yet recognize that the happiness and function of their clients are somehow improved by a spiritual faith. Most therapists would at least support spirituality as a core component of the treatment of chemical dependency and other addictions. Few healers would totally discount or ignore the possibility that the quality of one's inner life is affected by a transcendent realm.
Mainstream religion, which provides the context in which most people strive for the transcendent, has yet to be integrated with psychology and personality theory in any cohesive way. The primary obstacle to such a synthesis lies in the impossibility of joining integrated domains of human understanding with the many sectarian and sometimes conflicting dogmas of religion. Yet every religion is striving in its own way for the universal, so there must be some tangible and commonly acceptable way of viewing mainstream religious experience so that it can connect meaningfully with modern-day psychology.
The authors have discovered that one key to solving this dilemma lies in a direct study of the life and teachings of Jesus. In Jesus it is not difficult to see the workings of a master healer and advanced psychotherapist, even when we look for understanding through the veil of history and human bias in the most traditional rendition of his life, the King James Bible. Though Jesus lived nearly 2000 years before Sigmund Freud and the giants of twentieth-century psychology, Jesus demonstrated that he understood the mind and emotions just as keenly as he understood the spirit of man. Jesus might indeed be called a founding father of psychospiritual healing.
The authors arrived at this conclusion by different routes, finally joining in common purpose under the inspiration of the late Stylianos Atteshlis, better known as Daskalos (i.e., teacher, in Greek). Daskalos lived most of his life on Cyprus. He was a mystic, a healer, an artist, an educated man and thinker, a brother and guide. Though he taught within a Christian context and modeled his life after Jesus, he taught the conceptual as well as the experiential basis for the spiritual unity of the great world religions. He viewed life in unified terms and did not separate spirituality from any realm of human experience. Above all, Daskalos awakened within his students the remembrance of what real love is, that love is all, and what it means to be a real human being living a life of love.
In April 1994 we had a private meeting with Daskalos and told him of our immediate plans to sail from Cyprus to the Isle of Patmos, where the Apostle John was exiled and received the book of Revelation. Daskalos responded that Father Yohannan (John) would be with us. It was on this trip to Patmos that our idea to write this book was conceived. Daskalos died later the following year.
In memory and appreciation of Daskalos' inspiration, we are integrating collective religious philosophy, individual spiritual experience, and modern-day psychology in this book. Traditionally, these realms have often lain splintered in separate places within the human psyche, hindering the quality and progress of our lives. Daskalos showed that one key to the process of healing this separation lies in the understanding of personality. We have found that this link is clarified and validated by the theories of Enneagram personality type and the structure of the energy body and its chakra centers. Along with the life and teachings of Jesus, these models serve as powerful, instructive maps for our journey.
Through years of work in psychiatry and family practice, we have discovered that the Parable of the Prodigal Son describes the transformative journey of every man and woman back to love. We offer personal accounts of dialogue with Daskalos, practical healing exercises to support our synthesis, and case histories from clinical practice (in Appendix II). We will demonstrate the harmony between Jesus' teachings and those of masters from other world religions in the process. We will focus on Jesus because of his familiarity as the central religious figure of Western civilization, knowing full well that spiritual teachers from various traditions could be presented in the same manner.
Chapters I-III and Appendix I help the reader identify his or her personality type and Chapters IV-VI the area(s) of core wounding of the personality. Chapters VII-IX guide the transformation and healing of the personality and its wounds. For those who have been raised within a Christian tradition, this book may provide a bridge between one's personal psychology and those roots. For those raised outside the Christian faith, it can illustrate a way of thinking about one's own religion in such a way as to make it more accessible as a guide to personal inner growth and psychospiritual transformation. This book is intended in any case to make the reader's own religion more real in his or her life, even as it promotes the essential spiritual unity of all the world's great religions within the single family of humanity. It is written not only for health professionals, but for all people wishing to better the quality of their lives.
Above all, we wish to pay a tribute to love as the unifying element of ourselves and all creation. The practical application of the material and exercises is to remove the blocks that hold us from love and reawaken the remembrance of love in our hearts, allowing us to walk the same joyful paths in our daily lives as have the saints of the ages.
Blue Dolphin Publishing, 2001
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